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Te‘o one of three Heisman finalists

Manziel, Klein also receive invitations to Saturday’s ceremony

December 4, 2012
By RALPH D. RUSSO , The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Johnny Manziel and Manti Te'o are in position to make Heisman Trophy history.

Manziel, the redshirt freshman quarterback from Texas A&M, and Te'o, Notre Dame's star linebacker, along with Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, were invited Monday to attend Saturday's presentation ceremony in Manhattan.

Manziel is the favorite, and would be the first freshman to win college football's most famous individual award - and first Texas A&M player since halfback John David Crow won the school's only Heisman in 1957.

Article Photos

Notre Dame’s Manti Te‘o poses Monday with the Nagurski Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive player.
AP photo

Te'o would be the first defense-only player to win the Heisman. The Fighting Irish have seven winners, tied for the most with Ohio State and Southern California, but none since Tim Brown in 1987.

Te'o became the face of the No. 1 team in the country and leader of a defense that has been the toughest to score upon in the nation. The senior, a graduate of Punahou School, has intercepted seven passes this season, second-most in the country and tops for a linebacker, with a team-

best 103 tackles. Earlier Monday, he received this season's Nagurski Award as the nation's top defensive player, and the Butkus Award, given to the country's best linebacker.

Te'o and the unbeaten Irish face No. 2 Alabama in the Bowl Championship Series title game on Jan. 7 in Miami.

Manziel led the 10th-ranked Aggies to a 10-2 record in their first season in the Southeastern Conference. With a knack for improvisation, Manziel racked up an SEC-record 4,600 yards of total offense, including 1,181 rushing, tops in the conference this year.

Klein is a multitalented quarterback like Manziel, but with a different approach. The 6-foot-5, 226-pound senior is a bullish runner who scored 22 touchdowns and threw for 15 in leading the seventh-ranked Wildcats (11-1) to the Big 12 title.

No player from Kansas State has won the Heisman.



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